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Dr. Jonathan Long is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and an Institute Scholar of Stanford ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). Prior to arriving to Stanford in 2018, Dr. Long completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Scripps Research with Benjamin F. Cravatt and his postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with Bruce M. Spiegelman. His contributions in the areas of lipid biochemistry and energy homeostasis have been recognized by numerous awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association. At Stanford, the Long laboratory studies signaling pathways in control mammalian energy metabolism. The lab focuses on metabolic hormones and other circulating hormone-like molecules. The long-term goal of this work is to discover new endocrine pathway of energy metabolism that can be translated into therapeutic opportunities for obesity, metabolic disease, and other age-associated chronic diseases.
Our laboratory focuses on the endocrine hormones and other circulating hormone-like molecules that regulate mammalian energy metabolism. With modern mass spectrometry, it is now recognized that blood plasma likely contains many more bioactive factors than previously recognized, secreted by cell types that were not previously considered to have endocrine functions. What are the identities of these molecules? What energy stressors do they respond to? Where are they made? What cell types or tissues do they act on? We use chemical biology and mass spectrometry-based technologies as discovery tools. We combine these tools with classical biochemical and genetic approaches in cell and animal models. Our goal is to uncover new endocrine pathways of organismal energy metabolism. Recent studies from our laboratory have identified a family of cold-regulated circulating lipids that stimulate mitochondrial respiration as well as an exercise-stimulated thermogenic polypeptide hormone. We suspect that many more remain to be discovered. We anticipate that our approach will uncover fundamental mechanisms that control mammalian energy homeostasis. In the long term, we hope to translate our discoveries into therapeutic opportunities that matter for metabolic and other age-associated chronic diseases.